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University actions regarding Equifax data breach

- Following is a message from Pamela Beemer, vice president and chief human resource officer, and Sean Reynolds, vice president and chief information officer, to the Northwestern community

We all recognize the importance of keeping our personal data secure, and Northwestern takes significant measures to protect institutional data and your personal data in our custody. We have become aware of potentially compromised sensitive information for 143 million users of commercial consumer services at Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies.

We have discussed this breach with Equifax and have been assured that it is not related to Equifax services used by Northwestern. We are further researching the details of this breach to ensure that Northwestern takes the necessary current and future steps to protect our institutional data.

In addition, Northwestern is prepared to provide identity protection and credit monitoring services at no cost for all faculty and staff. This protection will be offered through a leader in comprehensive identity services, InfoArmor. Later this week, you will receive an email from the Office of Human Resources with additional information about InfoArmor’s services and instructions on activating your coverage.

In the interim, if you have already placed a fraud alert on your credit report, it will remain in place. This statement alerts creditors of possible fraudulent activity within your report, as well as requests that they contact you prior to establishing any accounts in your name. Once the fraud alert is added to your credit report, all creditors should contact you prior to establishing any account in your name. 

We realize that this national news is concerning, and we are providing this information so that you are aware of measures we are taking. We will provide you with additional information on this matter as it becomes available, as well as a Q&A regarding InfoArmor’s services.

If you have questions in the interim, please contact Anne Fish, Executive Director of Benefits & Work/Life Resources, at 847-491-8588 or a-fish@northwestern.edu, or Thomas Murphy, Chief Information Security Officer, at 847-467-6422 or Thomas.murphy@northwestern.edu.

Pamela Beemer
Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

Sean Reynolds
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Topics: Announcements

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